Monday, 14 May 2012

April saw the International Feltmakers Association AGM in Bath. We had a wonderful four days attending all the different workshops, meeting up with old friends, viewing all the lovely work on show and finally having a splendid grand dinner on the final evening. Delegates turned up in some spectacular outfits, all felted of course.

I attended a workshop on making 18th century corsets, one of very interesting felt beads based on seeds and tree fruit and a needle felting foxes one with Jenny Barnett. My fox sits on my desk and stares at me. I was lucky enough to visit the Fashion Museum in Bath and get to touch some of the beautiful antique dresses in the store, with white gloves on of course.
Wow! So much has happened since I returned home from Australia.

A project in a school in Gloucestershire, the Stitch and Craft Show at Olympia where I ran some felting workshops. And that's only March. The Stitch and Craft Show was very good and I met some very nice people, some of who have since come on my felting workshops. Here is some of the work that was produced in my one hour taster workshops.

Monday, 27 February 2012

A conclusion

Well here I am, at the end of my extended stay in Australia. The only way to end a wonderful three months drink a toast to the land of the upside down and all the lovely people I have met there. So here's the empty bottle...and it's the only sort that a good feltmaker should be drinking. So long Sydney, until the next time.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


My daughter, on reading my latest blog entry, sent me an email to correct me. Apparently I am getting my southern highlands mixed up with my western suburbs. should have read...I took the train into the 'Shires', in the southern highlands. There Gemma, better now?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Old friends and new.

I have been having a wonderful time in the last few weeks of my time in Australia, taking the opportunity to meet up with old felting friends and new ones.
Discovering that Pam de Groot lived in the Blue Mountains which border the Sydney conurbation I contacted her and arranged to see her when she came into Sydney to put some of her new stock in the lovely New South Wales Crafts Guild shop here in The Rocks. We met for lunch and I had the chance to examine her work and talk felty things. I have written an article about her for the next issue of Felt Matters, the magazine of the International Feltmakers Association. Pam is coming to Europe later this year and will be giving a workshop in London for the IFA Region 4 members and friends.

Flushed with my success at managing to find other fellers I emailed Anita Larkin when I discovered that she lived quite close to Sydney. So on Tuesday morning last week I took the train into the 'Shires' (western suburbs of Sydney) to see Anita and two of her felting buddies from the Illawarra felting group.
Anita and her friends Eleanor Brash and Melinda Binkins. Our meeting place was a halfway point for Anita and I and was at the Hazelhurst Gallery in Gymea, a really nice community art centre with lovely spacious studios for workshops. I was quite envious!
Anita has a piece in the 'Climate is Changing' exhibition which is currently travelling around Britain after showing in Italy and Germany. I love her work, it's so quirky.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

If it's January 15th it must be.........................

It's that time of the year again. Chinatown in Sydney is full of drums and dragons. It's Chinese New Year.
2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and there were certainly a few of those out on the streets of Chinatown today.

In Paddy's market the sound of the drums echoed around the central atrium. I was there for a delicious Yum Char lunch with the family and suddenly... there was a beautiful golden dragon at the entrance to our favourite Yum Char venue, the Eight. The whole of Paddy's Market was hung with red lanterns and the dragons were being tamed by their 'carers' surrounded by an army of red and gold dressed followers and drum players as they went from shop to shop, restaurant to restaurant, to bring good fortune for the coming year. Here are some images from the celebrations.

Walking through the main market part of Paddy's I came across this wonderful array of strange and beautiful leafy vegetables just waiting to have their picture taken. I just wish I could capture the smells of the gorgeous fruit and veggies that arrest your nostrils as you walk through the main hall.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Coffee culture

What I love about Sydney is the fact that they take their coffee very seriously. You don't just get any old coffee being served up in the numerous coffee shops and bars. The coffee has to be produced by baristas. There is even a barista school that tutors all the coffee makers. The result is.........perfect coffee every time.
These masterpieces were constructed at the Shenkin Cafe in Erskinville. A very artistic effort. There is even a App that can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad showing cappuchino froth designs. Crazy!!